Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

CAHSR 'Worst-case scenario has happened'

California bullet train cost surges by $2.8 billion: 'Worst-case scenario has happened'

LATimes: The estimated cost of building 119 miles of bullet train track in the Central Valley has jumped to $10.6 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion from the current budget and up from about $6 billion originally.
The new calculation takes into account a number of intractable problems encountered by the state rail agency. It raises profoundly difficult questions about how the state will complete what is considered the nation's largest infrastructure project with the existing funding sources.
It remains unclear how the Central Valley cost increases will affect the total program, which under the 2016 business plan is supposed to cost $64 billion. But the jump in the Central Valley — a 77% increase above the original estimate — suggests the authority and its consultants have vastly underestimated the difficulties of buying land, obtaining environmental approvals, navigating through complex litigation and much else.

 Amazing.  Who could have seen this coming? 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Oroville Dam Update

Tip o'the hat to Jim the Realtor at

LATimes:  The cost of the Oroville Dam spillway failure last February has risen to $870 million, according to a new tally released Friday by the Department of Water Resources that includes $210 million of work done by agency staff and consultants.
The concrete did not cure properly, because an outage at the concrete plant caused delays that let hot winds dry the concrete too quickly, the department said.

Total and complete bullshit.  Concrete does not "dry."  Concrete sets/cures.  It takes decades for concrete to actually dry.  They screwed up the mix. 

Hold onto your wallets the price increases are not finished. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Articl 1 - Section 10

Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 10 - Powers Prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

[Bolding added for focus.] 

[ 7 Jun 2017] California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new climate change agreement between the State of California and the People’s Republic of China on Tuesday.  LINK

May 18, 2015 | 4:44 PM | Sacramento
Gov. Jerry Brown makes a toast to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in August. California and Mexico signed an agreement to work together on climate change when the governor was visiting the state's southern neighbor last year. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Gov. Jerry Brown will sign a new climate change agreement with "government leaders from around the world" on Tuesday, his office announced.
The agreement comes three weeks after the governor ordered new targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in California. He's also been pushing for more renewable energy, lower gasoline consumption and better efficiency in older buildings. LINK

 IMO it is dangerous to ignore this any longer. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

An Unusual Idea of Constitutional

At a press conference in Washington D.C., Garcetti accused the Trump administration of practicing the "politics of distraction and destruction." "There is not a single mayor in this country that says 'Please, if you're a criminal, come on over. And if you're undocumented, bonus points!' This is a myth," Garcetti said. The mayor of L.A., who is in D.C. to attend the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, said he will continue following the law when it comes to illegal immigrants. "You can threaten subpoenas, you can threaten arrests, and we will keep abiding by the constitution and keeping our people safe."
Funny.  I usually think of refusing subpoenas and resisting arrest weren't law abiding acts. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

California Defies Interstate Commerce Clause

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

Despite this clear prohibition California since Jan 1st has required that you buy your ammunition in-state.

The clash US v CA is coming.    

Monday, January 15, 2018

College Debt Delaying Homeownership

But now, a new study shows the student debt crisis could be worse than anyone thought. Currently, at nearly $1.4 trillion in outstanding loans, student debt is the second largest source of household debt after housing, and the only form of consumer debt than continued to grow after the Great Recession, according to a new report from The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization.


Hard to see a way out.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Interim Montecito Update

Late to the party. Apologies.
Flooded 101 Overpass in Montecito
The mudslides are... well... there are no words. This is God sweeping his scythe across the land. CalTrans thinks they will have cleared the road and unclogged the culverts and inspected the surface to reopen the 101 late Monday. I suspect it will be Tuesday morning or even Wednesday. The "debris" is turning out to include bits of victims. Slows down the process obviously. The remaining Thomas Fires are small remote and not threatening. The missing persons list is down to 5 with no increase in death totals. Santa Barbara County has expanded the mandatory evacuation zone to facilitate clean up. They are forcibly removing people who were/are sheltering in place and comfortable for management reasons. They are projecting many weeks but more likely months before being allowed to return. The "Surfliner" Amtrak is running and I saw it pass through Oxnard earlier as full as I have ever seen it. The Channel Islands ferries are re-purposed for commuters past the freeway closure. Tens of billions worth of properties are affected but since 90% is in the value of the land I don't know how to value the actual losses.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Flooding in montecito

Mandatory evacuation Tues 09 Jan '18. 
This is a map of the recent mud flows that have destroyed many houses and snapped miles of telephone poles.  Click on the map and check out the for sale and recent selling prices. 

Monday, January 08, 2018

Sorm Clouds Over Burn Area

Camarillo looking north 08 Jan 18. Click to enlarge.
A short break in the system brought out this interesting cloud pattern. 

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Smoke Tax

Click for larger
60% at the wholesale level and $2.75-$9.25 per ounce retail.  Duuuude. 

Friday, January 05, 2018

High Noon

Since no one guessed or looked it up the house in the previous post sold Jun '15 for $125,000.  Listed now for $219,000. 

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Wrightwood Looking Toppy

1534 Betty St, Wrightwood, CA 92397

2 beds 1 bath 816 sqft

Charming mountain get-away, built in 1933 has an over-abundance of charm. Features include, many upgrades including kitchen, bathroom. new flooring throughout. additional features include single story, great room, swedish stove, wood beamed ceiling, 2 bedrooms (must go thru one br to access 2nd),

When you start seeing properties hit the market like this it is likely the begining of the end.  You might note I haven't linked the price.  As a hint last sold 06/19/15 for $125,000. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018